Rumor: The Last of Us 2 banned in Middle East for LGBT themes

Middle Eastern players hoping to play the next step of Ellie’s adventure will be unhappy to see The Last of Us 2 banned in the Middle East as has apparently happened according to one gamer’s report. While we’re only a few weeks away from The Last of Us 2 launching on PS4 around the world, it seems that some countries in the Middle East may be left out.

The Last of Us 2 is all set to launch in mid-June 2020, but it seems that it’s not quite available for purchase everywhere in the world. As one Reddit users reports, he was unable to find the game on the Arabic PlayStation Store and sent an email inquiring about its omission.

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“If any game did not exist in any Store region[,] [it means] that the game is banned by the competent authorities of the country and we can not do anything regarding that,” reads an email reportedly from PlayStation Support that was shared on the /r/DubaiGaming subreddit.

Indeed, searching for The Last of Us on the Arabic PlayStation Store only shows the original game. Conversely, a search on the U.S. store shows the pre-order for The Last of Us 2.

The Last of Us 2 banned Middle East naked back

The Redditor who posted the purported email believes that “LGBT stuff” was what likely got The Last of Us 2 banned. We’ve yet to discover any firm confirmation, but there are hints on the website of Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media (which regulates video games and other entertainment).

Take a look at the Saudi Arabian game ratings page and you’ll note that there is no mention of nudity or LGBT content, ostensibly because they’re banned outright. Similarly, The Sims 4 is reportedly banned in the United Arab Emirates, likely due to the game’s inclusion of LGBT content. Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins suffered the same fate in the United Arab Emirates.

The Last of Us 2‘s trailers have shown Ellie with a girlfriend, following on from her relationship with Riley in The Last of Us DLC ‘Left Behind.’ It is unconfirmed if the game is actually banned in the Middle East due to its LGBT characters, or if there is another reason for its absence from the PlayStation Store in the region, but with the game set to release on June 19, we should find out sooner rather than later.

H/T VG 24/7